Does Chiropractic Care Hurt?

People ask this question for several reasons.  1) Some people are curious and think it “looks like” it would hurt simply do not know because they have no prior experience working with a chiropractor. 2) More frequently, I am asked this from someone who has had a prior chiropractic experience when treatment caused them to feel pain. They are “believers” in chiropractic but want to prevent the same happening again. And, they are trying to find a chiropractor in Fort Collins to give them more personalized care.

So, does chiropractic care hurt? Rarely. It depends on several factors: the chiropractor, treatment methods offered, philosophy of practice, and lastly the attention to details to understand your personal concerns up front. All of these factors will drive your specific treatment and patient experience. If you are someone who is fearful about treatment or had a bad experience, I recommend you avoid a chiropractic office that is extremely busy who may not take the time necessary to ask you questions and understand your needs. The “in and out” chiropractic office using a “one size fits all” approach is probably not the best choice for you.

We assume all people are fearful until proven otherwise through Q&A. With every patient on their first visit, we take the time up front during consultation and exam to understand any fears or anxiety that may exist.  We do not overbook patients which results in having the time necessary to offer patients the attention they deserve for a better and more comfortable experience.

Making people feel comfortable is one of our passions. Each person is cared for individually which means their treatment is designed and recommended solely for them. The type of adjustments, exercises, physical therapy and or rehabilitation that is recommended is not canned, it is personalized.

The fearful patient example:  Someone has severe neck pain and stiffness and their muscles feel like rocks. They also were hurt at another office getting adjusted and are afraid about being hurt again from having their neck or back adjusted.  Often patients’ instincts are right! We do not routinely recommend mobilizing a joint (with adjustments) that is severely inflamed and has muscle spasm. This can cause pain.  In our office this person may not be “adjusted” for several sessions or even weeks. Instead, we direct efforts to reduce pain first. Using treatment to relieve pain such as cold laser, electrical muscle stimulation and spinal decompression. These treatments are comfortable for patients, and work wonders to ease pain. Once symptoms begin to abate, we introduce therapeutic exercises, and stretching rehabilitation to further reduce pain. During this process, a relationship is built and trust develops.  This approach helps people feel comfortable and at ease.   While we are a chiropractic office and love “adjusting”, doing the right thing first and not adjusting at the start of care is sometimes in the patients’ best interest.

How does this approach help the body heal faster and more easily?

Remember the person we discussed who was hurt from a prior chiropractic experience? A large percentage of these people who have what Dr. Coleman calls “shortened muscle syndrome” or SMS. This is when muscles are contracted and do not know how to relax. Muscles “feel like rocks” and it is common for people to feel “stiff and tight”. When SMS is present, adjustments may hurt if performed too soon, or before muscle spasm and inflammation is addressed first.  Several specialized treatment methods are used to treat pain and lengthen muscles that are in spasm, shortened, and contracted. The result is increased elasticity, pliability and mobility and a reduction of pain. Once this is accomplished, patients can usually tolerate chiropractic adjustments quite nicely. People who are suffering are often surprised how comfortable adjustments can be.

Creating a better patient experience often requires the doctor slow down and take time to understand his/her patient. It means having genuine concern and taking interest in people with a sincere desire to help.  Lastly, asking the right questions often opens a door and a window of opportunity for many people who have found themselves hopeless. In healthcare as in life, leaders do things right, but they also do the right thing.

Want a chiropractor who will listen and take time to understand your needs?

Call our Fort Collins chiropractic office at 970-493-3100 and schedule an appointment today. We offer a complimentary 20-minute consultation including free x-ray/MRI review to determine if we can help you. Sit down with Dr. Gil and see how you feel working together. No strings, No pressure. No charge. Simply our experience working to help you.

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